Sunday, November 27, 2022

How To Take Care Of Arthritis

Plan Ahead And Set Priorities

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A DOG WITH ARTHRITIS AT HOME

You may find you have more energy if you spread heavier jobs out over the week, planning to do a bit each day. Some people use up a lot of energy doing chores and are too tired to do the things they enjoy.

If you find this happens to you a lot, think about the things you have to do and the things you want to do. Set a balance between these when planning your week, making sure youll have time to do things you like. You may find you need to cut some jobs out or ask someone else to help with them.

If you plan to do more than youre actually able to do, its time to start asking some hard questions:

  • What benefits could you get from making the changes?
  • Are there any activities you can do less often or drop entirely?
  • Is there someone who can do the job for you or help you with it?
  • Can you say no when someones expectations of you are unrealistic?
  • Are your own expectations too high?
  • Can you say no to yourself?
  • Can you make any of the suggested changes to your lifestyle to conserve more energy ?
  • What will life be like if you dont make the changes?

You may like to try keeping a record or diary of your activities during the day. Every half an hour or so make a note of what youve done, how tired you felt and whether you had any pain. If you were tired at the end of the day, ask yourself some of the questions above.

Think about changes you can make so that youll be less tired next time. Try out some of your ideas and at the end of the week ask yourself if its made a difference.

What Are The Parts Of A Joint

Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.

Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.

Use Splints And Supports

Wearing splints can often help to ease the strain or pain in your joints. There are two types of hand and wrist splints.

  • Working splints provide more flexible support to help reduce pain while youre working.
  • Resting splints consist of a custom-made cradle with straps to hold it in place. These can help if you have pain at night which affects your sleep or if you need to rest your hands for a short time during the day.

Some people find that compression gloves are also helpful in reducing pain and swelling and are easier to wear. These can be worn day or night, when working or resting.

A hand therapist can explore the options with you.

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How Dietary Changes Can Help

Diet can either be a protective factor or a risk factor when it comes to arthritis, according to a study published on dietary habits and arthritisin the scientific journal Nutrients. Certain foods are pro-inflammatory and should be limited to once or twice a month, while some foods are anti-inflammatory and should be consumed daily.

Foods to avoid or reduce include the following:

  • Red meats
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dark, leafy greens

How Is Arthritis In The Hand Treated

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Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected and other existing medical conditions.

Goals of treatment are to:

  • Improve mobility and function.
  • Increase your quality of life.
  • In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.

Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches and surgery.

Splinting/braces

Splits or braces support and protect the affected joint, reduce deformity, provide joint stability, lessen strain, and promote proper joint alignment. Your healthcare provider, occupational therapist or hand therapist will discuss splinting/bracing options, how and when to wear them and how long to wear them .

Medications

Steroid injections

Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids are usually used if medications dont control inflammation or if the inflammation is limited to a few joints. Injections are administered directly into the affected joint. Because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments, injections are repeated only a few times.

Other management strategies

A complete treatment plan for arthritis of the hand includes these additional approaches:

Surgery

If nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, surgery may be an option. There are several approaches:

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Nutritional Supplements And Dietary Changes

There’s no strong evidence to suggest that specific dietary changes can improve rheumatoid arthritis, although some people with rheumatoid arthritis feel their symptoms get worse after they have eaten certain foods.

If you think this may be the case for you, it may be useful to try avoiding problematic foods for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

But it’s important to ensure your overall diet is still healthy and balanced. A Mediterranean-style diet, which is based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, is recommended.

There’s also little evidence supporting the use of supplements in rheumatoid arthritis, although some can be useful in preventing side effects of medicines you may be taking.

For example, calcium and vitamin D supplements may help prevent osteoporosis if you’re taking steroids, and folic acid supplements may help prevent some of the side effects of methotrexate.

There’s some evidence to suggest that taking fish oil supplements may help reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Further information

Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019 Next review due: 28 August 2022

Do Some Physical Activity Daily

Physical activity is a straightforward and powerful, non-drug approach to mitigate joint inflammation pain. Being genuinely dynamic can decrease torment, further develop capacity, mind-set, and personal satisfaction for grown-ups with arthritis. Doing some regular exercise can likewise lessen your danger of creating other persistent sicknesses, like coronary illness and diabetes.

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Engage In Physical Activities

Research suggests exercising may help reduce joint pain and improve arthritis in some people.5 Exercising helps release feel-good hormones and can also help you feel relaxed and improve concentration. Exercises such as leg flutter kicks, arm/leg raises, and/or shoulder stretches are easy and can be performed at home.

If you do not like to exercise, performing daily activities that are joint-friendly are also a good way to stay active throughout the day. A few examples include:

  • Taking the stairs
  • Using a basket for light grocery shopping
  • Tending your garden

Is It Arthritis In My Hand Or Tendonitis

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Arthritis and tendonitis can mimic each other, so its important to understand the difference between the two. Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons in your hand due to an injury or repetitive motion, and the pain can come and go suddenly or last for a few days.

Arthritis, however, is inflammation of the joint due to degenerative joint disease. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common forms are osteoarthritis , when the protective cartilage in the joint breaks down, and rheumatoid arthritis , when immune system attacks the joints. Early symptoms of arthritis include painful hand joints, burning sensation and decreased functionality of the hand and/or wrist.

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Glucosamine And Chondroitin And Arthritis

The supplements glucosamine and chondroitin are popular yet evidence about their effectiveness in treating arthritis is very limited.

Some studies show that glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin, taken either separately or in combination, may improve pain slightly for people with osteoarthritis. There is no evidence that these supplements are effective for any other forms of arthritis.

Glucosamine and chondroitin may interact with other medication, including warfarin, and should only be taken after consultation with your doctor.

What You Need To Know About Joint Supplements + Top Ingredients To Look For + What To Steer Clear Of

Advertiser Disclosure

Friction develops in our joints as we age, and is exacerbated in those who are active or carry extra weight. While exercise is great for our overall health, it’s not always kind to our joints. High impact exercises such as jogging can accelerate joint degeneration and worsen joint discomfort.

That’s why many turn to a quality joint health supplement as an effective way to improve their mobility and flexibility, and alleviate joint discomfort. But with so many joint health supplements available, how do you know which one will deliver results?

Smarter Reviews has compiled months of research about this emerging category. Well show you what to look for and what to avoid in a joint health supplement, and how it can help transform your health.

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Buy A Fun Sleep Mask And Ear Plugs

If I dont get enough sleep I always feel it in my joints the next day. A week or more of bad sleep is inflammation city. But I have noisy roommates who like to stay up late. I finally bought a light-blocking mask mine looks like a cartoon sloth, its hilarious and ear plugs. Now I get as much sleep as I need. Plus, sleep just makes everything feel better! Janette S.

Ways To Manage Arthritis

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There are a lot of things you can do to manage your arthritis. The day-to-day things you choose to do to manage your condition and stay healthy are self-management strategies and activities. CDCs Arthritis Program recognizes five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.

Practice these simple strategies to reduce symptoms and get relief so you can pursue the activities that are important to you. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you have.

Use these 5 strategies to manage your arthritis at any age.

Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.

How can a self-management education workshop help me?

Learning strategies to better manage your arthritis can help you:

  • Feel more in control of your health.
  • Manage pain and other symptoms.
  • Carry out daily activities, like going to work and spending time with loved ones.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Communicate better with your health care provider about your care.

Learn about CDC-recognized self-management education programs that improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.

Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.

Unsure about what kind of activity is safe?

The focus of arthritis treatment is to

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Treating Arthritis In Dogs

As your veterinarian will explain, there are a variety of different options to treat arthritis in dogs. Your plan may include a combination of management solutions and ultimately will depend on your dog and his specific situation. That being said, these are some of the most common ways to manage arthritis pain in dogs.

Organise And Pace Yourself

To help you avoid tiredness, look at how youre doing things and see if you can organise a job better. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have everything youll need to use nearby before you start?
  • Can you cut out any part of the job or do it more efficiently?
  • Can you sit rather than stand to work?
  • Can you slow down a bit?

Store things where you can reach them more easily. Organise your cupboards with the things you use most often at the front and get rid of things you dont use.

Think also about pacing yourself. The best ways to do this are:

  • taking a break for a few minutes every half hour
  • changing activities regularly and switch between light and heavier jobs.

After vacuuming a room do some dusting, then sit down and have a rest. When mowing the lawn, take a break before you get tired, change to a lighter job and go back to mowing later when you feel rested. Use the same approach at work. Taking regular short breaks actually means you can keep going for longer.

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Stop Ignoring Your Physical Limitations

Just as there are people with arthritis who aren’t active at all, there are those who push beyond their limits. The trick is to pace your activities. Overdoing it is just as harmful as underdoing it.

Pushing your limits can increase pain and put you at higher risk of joint damage. Respect pain and choose activities with your physical limitations in mind.

The Stages Of Arthritis

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Arthritis is a common joint condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints of the body. Arthritis comes in many forms, as there are more than 100 different types of this joint disease. Because of this, the various types of arthritis follow different stages of progression.

However, most types of arthritis follow a similar progression process. Below, we highlight two of the most common arthritis types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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What Is Moderate Physical Activity

Physical activity is considered moderate if you can easily have a conversation while doing it. Common types of moderate physical activity are walking, biking, and swimming, but you’re not limited to these activities. If it gets your heart rate up, it counts:

  • Dancing
  • Yardwork, like raking or trimming shrubs
  • Household chores, such as vacuuming
  • Walking your dog
  • Playing with your children or grandchildren

Dealing With Knee Arthritis At Home

  • 1Lose weight if you’re too heavy. As a general rule, people who are overweight or obese suffer more arthritis because of the increased amount of pressure on their joints especially weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and low back. Furthermore, overweight people are more likely to have flat feet and fallen arches, which promotes “knock knees” . Genu varum is hard on knee joints because it causes misalignment of the thigh and shin bones. Thus, do your knees a favor by losing excess weight. The best way to lose weight is by increasing cardiovascular exercise while decreasing your daily calories at the same time.
  • Most people who aren’t especially active only need about 2,000 calories daily to maintain their body processes and still have enough energy for some exercise.
  • Reducing your daily caloric intake by only 500 calories can result in about 4 pounds of lost fat per month.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Swimming is a fantastic exercise for arthritis sufferers to lose weight because your body is buoyant and no pressure is put on your joints.
  • Apply moist heat first thing in the morning or after not using your knee for long periods of time. Avoid electric heat sources because they can dehydrate the skin and muscles around the knee.
  • Microwaved herbal bags work well for knee arthritis, especially the ones that are infused with aromatherapy because they tend to have relaxing properties.
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    Gout And Calcium Crystal Diseases

    Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful swelling in joints. It typically affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the body.

    Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel.

    Its caused by having too much urate, otherwise known as uric acid, in the body. We all have a certain amount of urate in our body.

    However, being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks can cause some people to have more urate in their bodies. The genes you inherit can make you more likely to develop gout.

    If it reaches a high level, urate can form into crystals that remain in and around the joint. They can be there for a while without causing any problems and even without the person realising they are there.

    A knock to a part of the body or having a fever can lead to the crystals falling into the soft part of the joint. This will cause pain and swelling.

    There are drugs that can reduce the amount of urate in the body and prevent gout attacks. Examples are allopurinol and . If youre having a gout attack, youll also need short-term pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as paracetamol can be good drugs to try first.

    Men can get gout from their mid-20s, and in women its more common after the menopause. Taking water tablets can increase the risk of gout.

    There are also conditions that cause calcium crystals to form in and around joints.

    Follow Up With Your Healthcare Provider Or Rheumatologist As Directed:

    Does Joint Popping or Snapping Cause Arthritis?

    Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

    The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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    Encourage Them To Exercise

    Many people with arthritis have found exercise to be beneficial. Moving helps to keep joints and muscles lubricated. Exercise can also help with functional mobility. However, for someone with arthritis, exercising can be difficult or overwhelming.

    Encouragement to exercise and the support of your loved ones in performing their exercises correctly is a great way for arthritis care. You may also need to help your loved one with post-operative exercises if they have recently undergone joint surgery.

    Remember that your friend/loved one may need your assistance at some times and would like to be left alone during other times. So, be flexible and offer help only when absolutely necessary.

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